Eats: Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar – Kitsilano

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There is something about authentic Cajun and Louisiana style cooking that you can’t find just anywhere.   I’ve been to New Orleans, Louisiana or NOLA two times within the last two years.  The culture and food there is simply fantastic.  Everything has flavour – from the people, to the history, to the drinks, to the wide variety of foods.   So when I came back a year ago from my first experience of the NOLA food, I was craving good fried chicken and an amazing Caesar.  Enter Chewies.

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Today, I’m introducing you to that old favourite.  The Kitsilano location was its first location.  Located two blocks away from the beach, it has a wrap around patio and a cozy interior.  The restaurant itself features a unique open kitchen concept that allows guests of the restaurant to immerse themselves in the true style of  southern cooking.  Dishes like Gumbo, Creole Mussels and Jambalaya are on the menu and taste so authentically New Orleans that it was hard to pick where I had had the better of the two dishes.

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Ok, so down to the nitty gritty.  If I were to recommend dishes, what would they be?  As per my waiter who wore of a shirt that read “Steamed, Stewed or Nude” would say, try the Fried Chicken. or the Jambalaya. or the Beef Brisket.  But really everything is fantastic.  (However, I have yet to have the raw oysters at Chewies.)  The fried chicken comes on a bed of buttermilk mashed potatoes, green beans and finished with a not-too-sweet honey based sauce that is fantastic.  It is marinated for two days, then fried, then baked, then re-fried for that perfect crispy texture with fall of the bone goodness inside.  It is a dish that is easily ‘lick-your-plate-clean.”

Chewies - Jambalaya

The Jambalaya is also an amazing dish.  Though, it is not meant for the faint of heart.  This dish features fried then baked rice from a cast-iron skillet with an authentic NOLA ‘slap-yo-mama’ kick to it.  (Slap yo mama is a popular cajun spice made in New Orleans, Louisiana.)  It has a mix of sausage, tasso ham,  chicken and shirmp mixed in and is served in a small cast-iron pot.

IMG_9590Another amazing dish that I greedily shared with a friend was the Beef Brisket.  It is melt in your mouth good.  The house smooed brisket is cut into long strips/steaks, and served over mashed sweet potatoes and Southern slaw.  Yum.  It is finished in whatever barbecue sauce they marinated it in and it is a type of sauce that is flavourful and pairs well with everything on the plate.

For drinks, I’m going to make a lofty claim and say that the BBC or Bloody Bacon Caesar is one of the best Caesar’s that I have ever had.  And I do love me a good caesar.  It is spicy, with a good kick, and strong – a la authentic NOLA style.  Give it a try if you love caesars or want a good drink.Chewies Ceasar

Now, if you’re looking for an appetizer, I highly recommend the Pan Fried Oysters.  One time, I made the mistake of ordering this as my main dish.  Though five oysters that are crusted with Parsley & panko and served with house made tartar sauce and garlic oil are fantastic, they were so good that everyone decided to help themselves to my dish.  It is truly an amazing dish to share or to start your meal with.

Last, but never least, there is dessert.  I would highly recommend the French Quarter Beignets.  They are pretty close to the real Cafe du Monde beignets.  Almost but not quite.  However, they have their own unique twist as they are served chicory coffee crème Anglaise.  Dusted with a good portion of icing sugar, they are tasty but not as messy as the ones found in NOLA.

And just so you know, there is always the option of Brunch.  This special menu offers items such as Fried Chicken and Waffles (the same chicken as above but in a smaller portion) or Shrimp and Grits (which despite my not loving grits is darn good.).

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Or play it safe and order a dozen oysters, served with a selection of signature house made sauces!  Chewies-OystersChewies-Oyster Sauces

For a full menu from the Kitslano location, you can find that here: Chewies_Kits_Menu.pdf

Location:
2201 West 1st Ave. V6K 3E6

Hours:
Monday to Friday 5pm – Late
Saturday & Sunday Brunch 10am – 3pm
Saturday & Sunday Dinner 5pm – Late

Ratings:
Food: 9.5/10
Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 8.5/10
Originality: 8.5/10
Overall: 9/10

Note: you can now make reservations through OpenTable for groups of 5 or less.

Until next time,

xo Chanel

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